Friday, February 28, 2020

Freeform Friday: From Trashed Books to Treasured Bookmarks with Melissa McCurdy + A GIVEAWAY

Isn't it nice when you meet a fellow bibliophile?  Someone who just gets your bone-deep love of reading and all things book related?  I've met a few kindred spirits in my time, and I'd like you to introduce you to one of my favorites.  Melissa McCurdy is a lover of all things book and musical theater, author of the book review site, Gerbera Daisy Diaries, and maker of the most amazing bookmarks.  

I've admired Melissa's bookmarks for quite a while and when I finally realized that she occasionally sells them, I asked her to make me a variety so that I could share them with some fellow book friends (and with you). They came in the mail just the other day and opening the package was heavenly. You, see Melissa makes her bookmarks by combining assorted craft paper and old, damaged books that would otherwise be thrown away.  The bookmarks she sent were a beautiful mix of everything and just what I wanted.  Oh, and have you smelled an old book lately?  I wish I could bottle that scent and (quite frankly) put it on my husband. Divine!   Here's a view of the front & back:

Aren't they gorgeous?  I love the combination new paper and old, especially the variety of print on the backs.  From what I can tell, the backs came from dictionary pages, some aged cookbooks, and other random texts, but my absolute favorite had an excerpt from To Kill a Mockingbird on the back.  Squeeee!  I am so excited to give these away to my friends AND TO ONE OF YOU!!

While I chatted with Melissa about her bookmarks, I also asked her a few questions:

What inspired you to start making bookmarks? 
I think I saw a Pinterest post about making bookmarks and thought, “I can do that!” It’s not what I ended up coming up with, but it was the start. 

Where do you find the books you use? 
For many years I worked for the public library. One of my responsibilities was gathering our used book donations that we would sell in our used book sales. For the most part, donated books were in good condition, but occasionally, people would donate severely damaged books. Like anything, I hated to throw away books, regardless of condition, but if we weren’t able to re-sell them, we’d toss them. So I tried to think of how I could reuse and recycle them, and through trial and error, I came up with reusing the book pages with scrapbook paper.

Is there a particular type of book you like to use most when you create bookmarks? Truthfully, really old Reader’s Digests make the best bookmarks. Not sure what makes their pages sturdier/stronger than other books, but that’s what I use the most. Dictionaries make the most creative, but generally they have onion-like paper that make them more flimsy. I also really like cookbooks because they are colorful. 

Do you have a favorite bookmark at home? 

I do! I mentioned that my favorite recycle books are Reader’s Digest books. Once I used the book spine, because the binding was literally falling off the book. It turned out cute. 

What are you reading now? 

I’m trying to read books related to Black History Month and/or authors of color. Currently my boys and I are listening to Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper. Stella lives in the segregated South and the influences of the Klux Klan rattles her community. Personally, I’m reading The Mothers by Brit Bennett, a contemporary novel of secrets, loss and the ramifications of teenage choices. Other Black History-related and/or authors of color I’ve read recently: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (5 stars) Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid (3 stars) New Kid by Jerry Craft (new Newbery Award winner, and first graphic novel awarded the prize; 5 stars A Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. (a letter written while he was imprisoned – highly recommended as an audio book. 5 stars).

*We interrupt this interview so that you can stare at Melissa's colorful book collection.*
Excuse me while I drool.

Okay, we're back!

When are bookmarks the perfect gift (or in other words, any creative gifting ideas)? 

I always stick my bookmarks in cards – Mother’s Day, Christmas, and birthday. I have a jar of them on my desk at work for people to grab if they’re in my office. They make good conversation starters! I don’t have a commercial outlet for these, I make them for my own pleasure, however, my sister in law is a caterer in Salt Lake City, and she has ordered them for receptions and to use as favors in her table-scapes.

If you are interested in ordering an assortment of Melissa's bookmarks for your next gifting opportunity or just to add to your bookish horde, you can contact Melissa at Glued To the Page.  The cost is $1 per bookmark (shipping included) with a 12 bookmark minimum.  Keep in mind, Melissa is busy going to grad school and makes bookmarks as her creative outlet (not as a business or side gig), so customers will get a sampler of whatever she has in stock.

If you would like to be entered to win SIX Glued to the Page bookmarks of your very own, simply head over to our Facebook page to like, share, and leave a comment on the FB post!  If it's not up yet (because I occasionally forget to link these things first thing in the AM) comment on this post. That's it!  Feel free to like our follow us on Facebook if you'd like, but it's not required!

Giveaway is US only and ends at 11:59 pm PST, March 2nd, 2020.

Good luck!!! And aren't these adorable!

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